The best iPhone camera app just got a great Action button upgrade

Two iPhones showing the Halide Mark II photo app
(Image credit: Halide)

Ever since the iPhone 15 Pro launched, its new Action button has divided critics. Sure, it’s a neat new tool with tons of potential, but at the same time it feels disappointingly limited. Well, one app has just revealed a genius way to expand the Action button’s functionality in a big way.

Popular photography app Halide ($2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month) is best known for giving iPhone photographers a bunch of powerful tools for snapping top-notch shots, and it’s our pick for the best camera app you can get on iOS. Now, its developers have released an update that incorporates a bunch of clever features for the Action button.

According to the developers, the Halide 2.13 update lets you quickly launch a variety of features in the app, including switching between 12MP and 48MP resolutions, cycling through lenses, triggering manual focus, enabling raw image capture, and moving between auto and manual exposure. And yes, it’ll also let you simply take a picture.

To do all this, Halide’s developers built a custom shortcut that is triggered when you press the Action button. This shortcut then launches whichever option you have selected in Halide’s purpose-built Action button menu.

Back in action

An iPhone showing Halide's manual focus mode.

(Image credit: Halide)

This Action button shortcut is not the only update Halide’s developers included in the 2.13 update. There are also optimizations for the 5x zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, new tools that make use of the zero shutter lag in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, and a slate of other improvements.

It’s just the latest clever enhancement to the Action button. By default, this button can only launch apps and functions with a single press, which has spurred developers on to various ingenious ways to improve its abilities.

For instance, some enterprising users have found a way for the Action button to perform different tasks depending on whether you hold your iPhone in portrait or landscape mode

It shows the power of the Apple Shortcuts app, as well as the future direction the Action button could move in. If Halide’s latest update is anything to go by, there could be a lot more for photographers (and everyone) to look forward to.

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Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.